Canadian Underwriter

Ontario ice storm catches the eye of global reinsurance brokerage

April 20, 2018   by Greg Meckbach

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Severe weather earlier this week in Ontario has caught the attention of reinsurance providers.

Impact Forecasting LLC, a unit of reinsurance brokerage Aon Benfield, noted Friday that winter weather starting April 13 “left considerable damage across southern sections of Canada’s Ontario and Quebec.”

A car damaged by a fallen tree branch is shown in Toronto, Monday, April 16, 2018. Tens of thousands of people across southern and central Ontario remained without power Monday morning as the province’s massive ice storm transitioned to drenching rain. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

In its weekly cat report, Impact Forecasting noted that freezing rain “led to more than 100,000 customer outages in Ontario” after the ice accumulation brought power lines down.

Both Gore Mutual and Aviva Canada predicted the winter storm – which also caused flooding – would be cat events, meaning they would cost the industry at least $25 million.

London and Toronto got 14 and six hours respectively of freezing rain, Environment Canada reported earlier.

Aviva predicted earlier about 70% of its claims would be water related with about another 30% wind related.

Wind gusts of 96 km/h were reported at Toronto Island airport this past weekend.

“At the peak of the event on April 13-14, more than 600 flights were cancelled” at Toronto International Airport, Impact Forecasting reported.

Related: Insurers consider weekend storm in Ontario Cat event

There was also severe weather south of the border. At least 300,000 lost power in Michigan, while deadly tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, North Carolina and Arkansas, among others.

It was too early as of April 20 to estimate either economic or insured losses, Aon said.

Also in its weekly cat report, Impact Forecasting said more than 61 cm of snow fell in parts of the U.S., including Wisconsin, where a roof collapsed due to snow load.

Oklahoma was among the U.S. states affected by severe wildfires April 12-15.

Meanwhile, Kauai Island, Hawaii got 715 mm of rain in a 24-hour period ending April 15. The State of Hawaii allocated US$125 million for flood repair, Impact Forecasting reported.

In Africa, floods in Dar es Salam, Tanzania resulted in 14 deaths. Dar es Salam got more than 180 mm of rain April 14 through 16.

Floods were also reported in the German states of Bavaria and Hessen.